In 2014, Don’t Panic London created a harrowing film for Save the Children that puts a child like yours (a young girl from London called Lily) into Syria, with a message that read, “Just because it isn’t happening here…doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.”
The idea, of course, was to shock comfortable people about of their apathy about life for children in the war-ravaged country. The ad has been watched more than 53 million times on YouTube and won a Gold Lion in Cyber at Cannes.
But for too many Syrian children, life has gone from bad to worse.
So, while the aim of the first ad was to make its audience realise that the people caught in civil war in Syria in this civil war were just like them, a new ad aims to show that children just like theirs are now fleeing the country, making dreadful journeys often without their parents and finding horror elsewhere. Half of all Syrian refugees are children.
The sequel, Still The Most Shocking Second A Day, follows the same format as its predecessor. It opens and closes on Lily’s birthday, each time under very different circumstances. Lily and her brother, Alfie, are forced to become refugees.
The story of their flight to the UK and the terrible things they face after arriving is even harder to watch than the story that came before it.
Too bleak? According to Richard Beer, creative director at Don’t Panic London, the question had come up but it was decided to go with authenticity – “”every single thing that happens to Lily in the film has happened to real children.”
The ad is launching in 12 countries including in the US and Australia, and Save the Children is targeting viewers who would have watched the first ad. It also re-released the first ad a few weeks ago. The aim of the new campaign is to shock people into shedding hate and xenophobia so that Save the Children can get what it needs to give refugee children a decent chance at life.
It was directed by Tom Green of Stink.